On breaking records and banging walls
They may be padded, but outfield fences can do damage
Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"That's probably the hardest I've hit a wall in a long time. I know I hit the wall hard in Los Angeles [on May 24], but this time my right elbow jabbed me in the ribs. My back is tight, and I have a little whiplash. I know we were up, 8-0, but I can't let a ball drop. I've got to go get them. That's what I do."
-Angels outfielder Torii Hunter on his latest wall collision. (Los Angeles Times)
"I won the Opening Day job last year, and that didn't work out by the end of the year. I don't take anything for granted. I want to keep proving something every day."
- Brendan Harris, Twins shortstop. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I want to experience that. I see guys pitch back-to-back-to-back -- and back. That's very special for me. How can you do that?"
- Chan Ho Park on his desire to be available as often as possible out of the Phillies bullpen. (MLB.com)
"It definitely means a lot. Growing up and trying to dream of being in the big leagues, I'm here. I finally got my first win. It's a really exciting moment."
- Danny Herrera after picking up his first Major League win on Tuesday night for the Reds. (MLB.com)
"Yeah, for sure. I want to throw them all out. A lot of times I get excited when guys run because I feel like it's a chance for me to help the team. I'm confident in my throwing ability. I'm just going to keep trying to do it."
- Ryan Hanigan Cincinnati Reds catcher. (MLB.com)
"I don't know the ratio, but you could tell we had a lot of fans. That's fun."
- Scott Podsednik, impressed by the number of White Sox fans at Wrigley Field for an Interleague game. (Chicago Tribune)
"I don't know what to do. I've never been through this before."
- Aramis Ramirez, who is getting restless while on the disabled list with a dislocated shoulder. ( MLB.com)
"I don't have too many complete games, much less shutouts. I wanted to go out there and get this one. It took a lot of pitches, especially on the last guy. He was killing me."
- Gil Meche, after pitching a shutout on Tuesday night in the Royals' 5-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. That "last guy" was Stephen Drew, who battled for 10 pitches before flying out, bringing Meche's pitch total to 132. (Kansas City Star)
"If I had that feeling, I probably wouldn't keep playing. I always felt like another opportunity would come along at some time. I've had the mindset for a long time that I can only do what I can do and control what I can control on the field. And the rest of it has to kind of take care of itself."
- Mitch Jones, Dodgers outfielder, who did not lose faith after being sent down to the Minors before getting a chance to take batting practice in 2006. (Los Angeles Times)
"I never consider myself a home-run hitter. I just concentrate on hitting the ball hard, which I've been doing. If the ball goes out, I'm happy."
- Bengie Molina, who leads the Giants in home runs, on reaching double-digits in home runs for the seventh straight year. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The biggest thing is that if I did nothing and got hurt again next year, I would have been like, 'Man, I should have done something.'"
- Eric Chavez on the decision to have back surgery now to be ready for 2010. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It's fun to come to the clubhouse every day and just watch him, listen to him. He's like a different creature than the rest of us. It's like he's from a different planet. That's what we've been missing here, that's the hole he's filled, that's what he does. He brings a team together just by being himself."
- Ichiro on the impact of Ken Griffey Jr. on the Mariners. (Tacoma News-Tribune)
"I think the reason I'm close [to the record] is just because of the preparation that I have every single year, physically and mentally to be able to play healthy every year. I think it's going to be a great thing to do. It's going to be a good day. It's a place that I started in '91. To be able to break it in Texas, I think it's going to be nice for me and my family and the fans in Texas."
- Ivan Rodriguez on breaking the record for most career games caught in the Major Leagues against the Rangers. (Houston Chronicle)
"I don't want to disappoint. I want to be as prepared as I was when I was playing every day, as it was five years ago up until last year. Right now I feel I want to bring the same attitude and intensity to my work so that when I do get an opportunity in the game and people do cheer for me that I'm able to do something special."
- John McDonald, Toronto utility player, discussing his preparation. (Toronto Star)
"It's a good feeling to hit my first grand slam because it put my team ahead."
- Prince Fielder, Milwaukee first baseman. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"I think he's shown a tremendous ability to play up to his competition. At the lower levels, he wanted so badly to be in Double-A, in Triple-A. He had played in the Winter Leagues in Venezuela. Maintaining his concentration level when he is doing well and not doing well has led to more consistent performance."
-Arizona manager A.J. Hinch commenting on rookie Gerardo Parra, the National League Rookie of the Month for May who is currently hitting .296 with two home runs and 18 RBIs in 108 at-bats. (MLB.com)
"As he DHs, I think his legs get better. I think it's a blessing for us to be able to do that and still have his bat in the lineup."
-Mets manager Jerry Manuel on using Gary Sheffield at designated hitter in Interleague games. (New York Daily News)
"I think it was Rambo. I don't know. I reached in there and started grabbing dogs and throwing dogs. And one of them got me. One of those things that happens. It's never pretty. I've had to do it a few times and it's ugly."
- Kyle Farnsworth, who was bitten by one of his two American bulldogs while breaking up a scuffle on Tuesday morning. The veteran pitcher had to get four stitches on a finger on his left (non-throwing) hand. (MLB.com)
"He's come up with some big hits for us and I'm very happy with what he has done for us, and the work he's put in and his eagerness to continue to learn."
-New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi on rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli, who is filling in for the injured Jose Molina. (MLB.com)
"For years, all anybody wanted was the guy who hit the ball out of the ballpark because so many guys were hitting the ball out of the park. Now you're starting to see, on a lot of teams, what I guess you'd call your old-school leadoff guy."
- Tony Gwynn Jr. talking about his role with the Padres and his style of hitting at the plate. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Catcher is probably the toughest position in the game, and he still looks pretty agile. It's not easy to be behind the plate for that many years and doing it the way he does. Coming back to Texas is going to make it more exciting for him because this is a team that really embraces him."
- Omar Vizquel, Texas Rangers infielder, commenting on Ivan Rodriguez breaking the record for most games caught. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"Pitching here last year really helped, knowing what the atmosphere here was going to be like. I really didn't have the jitters I had last year, so I could focus on throwing strikes."
- John Danks, White Sox pitcher, who allowed just five hits through seven innings on Wednesday in the Sox's 4-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. ( Chicago Tribune)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.